Project Title: Fuelling the calcium pumps in pancreatic cancer:
strategy for cell survival or ‘Achilles heel’?
Project Aims: Pancreatic cancer cells have a unique way of extracting energy from nutrients that help them survive and grow. This source of energy is specifically used to pump calcium out of the cell – a crucial function, as high levels of calcium are toxic and cause cells to die. This could be a major weakness of pancreatic cancer cells. Dr Bruce’s project aims to find new ways to selectively cut off this energy supply to the calcium pumps with new drugs. Such drugs would selectively kill cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed as they generate their energy from a different source.